Firefighter Daigo: Rescuer in Orange is a show that does its best to highlight that you don’t need to kill fire demons to make a firefighter’s job seem interesting. When I initially sat down for the premiere, I thought I was in for a new supernatural, over-the-top fire-themed action series in a style similar to Fire Force. Don’t blame me for making that comparison. There aren’t a lot of shows that focus on firefighters despite the job having relatively interesting elements that might yield a gripping story. Thankfully, not only was I wrong, but it seems this series is shaping up to be what I wanted.
Based on a three-decade-old manga, the episode’s opening shows what appears to be an apocalyptic-level event in the background. The focus is primarily on who we would later find out are two members of our main cast, Daigo and Shunsuke. They’re doing their best to rescue people from a collapsing building as firefighters, and the tension was palpable. The entire audience was quiet and while the animation was a bit distracting, particularly with all of the CG vehicles, there were enough gripping elements there as our main character Daigo pushes himself to a subtle yet dangerous breaking point to save a victim. All of this is shown from the perspective of Shunsuke, who appears to be a good friend of Daigo, nagging him about how he might end up dying one day if he’s not careful.
And then, out of nowhere, the series flashes back a few years to when society doesn’t seem to be on the verge of collapsing into hell. Shunsuke, now a 19-year-old trainee, continues to be our perspective character. There we are introduced to the monotony and sometimes brutal training as it’s beaten into our main characters. Shunsuke and Daigo have just met, and the strong bond implied in the opening has yet to develop. This gives the impression that the show will likely follow that relationship before working up to whatever inciting incident was featured in the early moments. The story structure makes me curious, especially regarding our incredibly soft-spoken leader, who probably only uttered roughly five lines in the entire episode. He’s hiding something and has some history that ties into why he joined the Fire Academy in the first place.